July 1st tends to be known as Bobby Bonilla Day, as it’s infamously the point on the calendar where Bonilla collects another $1+ million from the New York Mets.
It’s easy to laugh at the Mets, but the reality is just about every team in baseball uses deferred money as an accounting trick or incentive to get a player to sign on the dotted line. The Brewers are no different. Here’s a look at who will be cashing Mark Attanasio’s checks for quite a few years, even after they’re done playing in Milwaukee.
As part of the 5-year, $105 million contract extension that has him on the payroll through 2020 (and a mutual option for 2021), the Brewers will pay Braun $2 million every July 1st from 2022 to 2031, for a total of $18 million deferred without interest.
Cain’s 5-year, $80 million contract runs through 2022, with $1 million annual payments running from 2023 to 2027.
Yes, The Count is still counting millions against the Brewers’ books. His four-year, $50 million contract ended at the end of the 2017 season, but he’s still pulling $2 million every year. Unlike Braun and Cain, Garza’s payments come on December 15th. Garza’s deferments run through 2021.
The Brewers made their final payments to Aramis Ramirez ($6 million) and Kyle Lohse ($2.33 million) in December 2018.
For the most part, the Brewers have avoided stacking multiple deferments on top of eachother, so they don’t have large amounts of dead money tying up their finances. The Garza deferments end just before the Braun ones begin, and even when Braun and Cain are both getting deferment payments at the same time, the total of $3 million shouldn’t prove to be prohibitive for other moves the team may want to make at the trade deadline those years.
Things could definitely be worse -- the Washington Nationals, for example, are deferring $70 million over 7 years for Stephen Strasburg between July 1, 2024 and July 1, 2030, accounting for $10 million in dead money every year. On top of that, the Nationals will pay Max Scherzer $15 million every July 1 from 2022 to 2028. Considering they’ll be paying a combined $25 million per year to those two long after they’re done pitching, it’s no wonder Washington never tried too hard to re-sign Bryce Harper.
Contract info courtesy of Cot’s Contracts